Attorneys General are seldom viewed as naive, but how else can you explain South Carolina AG Alan Wilson? The man has opted to submit his state’s new voter ID law to review by the U.S. Justice Department.
Surely he must know that the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division is one of the most highly-politicized enclaves within the Justice Department. Wilson would have done far better to go directly to court for judicial review of the law under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.
To the liberal ideologues inhabiting the Division, voter ID is the equivalent of Jim Crow, a completely ridiculous and historically preposterous claim. Their handling of Georgia’s voter ID law in 2005 (not to mention Arizona’s voter ID statute) makes it clear that they have no regard for the legal standards that apply under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. [Note: Every court decision on voter ID laws has found them to be not racially discriminatory.]
In the Georgia submission, several Division lawyers assigned to the case basically tried to ignore all of the evidence that the State submitted, including detailed driver’s license records from the DMV and college ID records from the state university system. These records showed that minority voters in Georgia would have no problems meeting the ID requirement. Still, the ideology-driven lawyers wanted to challenge Georgia’s voter ID law as racially discriminatory.
The subsequent litigation, as well as the record turnout in elections since the law took effect, proved that those lawyers never should have questioned the law in the first place. Fortunately, that was prevented by the adults who were in charge of DOJ at the time. Unfortunately, political activism in the Division has only gotten worse since then.
Those same people who wanted an objection to Georgia’s voter ID are now in charge and will call the shots on South Carolina’s voter ID. The fact that DOJ previously precleared Georgia’s voter ID law as well as Arizona’s ID law is precedent that they will probably do their best to ignore.